Title: Things to do before the end of the world
Author: Emily Barr
Release Date: 13/5/2021
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free ARC copy from Penguin Platform, via The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
One minute you’re walking in the park, hiding from a party. Then you discover that the next nine months will probably be your last. Everyone’s last. You realise that you happen to be alive at the time when your species becomes extinct. You have to decide whether to go with it meekly like you usually do, or to do something brave, to live your last months with all the energy and bravery you can muster, to rage against the dying of the light.
Olivia struggles to live her real life as fully as she wants to. She plans out conversations and events in her head but actually doing them and interacting with other people is hard. When the news breaks that humans have done such damage to the earth that there’s only nine months of safe air left everybody makes bucket lists and starts living their best lives – everyone, that is, but Olivia who is still struggling to figure out who she wants to be.
Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for their last summer on earth Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having a effect on her. But what if Natasha isn’t everything she first appears to be . . . ?
I wish I could say I had loved it but unfortunately I found this a little dull and predictable. It had some real awesome potential but just didn’t live up to it. The prospect of living your life to the full as the world comes to an end seemed amazing.
The plot primarily focuses on Libby’s self confidence issues and how she uses this new connection with her cousin to come out of her shell. The initial depictions or social anxiety were quite good but these started to decline and skirted problematic on a few occasions. Eventually it was somewhat ignored and felt more like a plot device than representation. Some of the plot points were fun and interesting and there were some good little mysteries and some great moments of family love. But overall it just felt a bit predictable particularly within the main plot line.
The actual end of the world doesn’t really play a role in the book at all really and that is what is disappointing. It is more a McGuffin to get all the characters in certain places but it easily could have been exchanged for any other life event that would allow you to let go a little and forget priorities for a while. It seemed like such an interesting concept that again just becomes ignored for other plot points.
I could see those looking for a fluffy and fun read enjoying this, just for me it needed a bit more substance.